Posted at 7:33 AM on September 29, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Politics of all sorts lead the Digest today.
The Minnesota Poll says most of those polled don't back Pawlenty running for president. Half, however, say there was a good chance or some chance they would vote for him if he was on the ballot in 2012.
The candidates for governor claim $23,000 in legislative expenses since June. DFL Sen. Tom Bakk and GOP Rep. Marty Seifert took the most.
This weekend's GOP straw poll could give us an idea of the top choices for governor.
The GOP candidates for governor also met in a forum last night in Prior Lake. Here's a brief look.
The Marshall Independent takes a look at GOP state Rep. Tom Emmer, who is running for governor.
The MNGOP complains about the campaigning by mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis (for governor nor not mayor).
The Minnesota poll says DFL Sen. Al Franken has an approval rating of 41%.
Under the Dome
Crime victims in Minnesota get help from the stimulus.
Xcel Energy is awaiting a vote on its proposed rate increase.
A new subcommittee will study Minnesota's budget problems and make recommendations to the Legislature.
Anoka-Hennepin Schools vote to close six schools.
The USDA says Minnesota's soybean harvest is behind pace.
The New York Times looks at efforts to outlaw efforts to require health insurance. GOP Rep. Tom Emmer and DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher (both candidates for governor) are mentioned.
President Obama will go to Denmark to make the case for the Chicago Olympics bid.
The abortion fight complicates the health care debate.
The Mankato Free-Press says mega projects tilt stimulus spending in Minnesota. DFL Rep. Tim Walz is mentioned.
Smart Politics wonders if Ron Paul is converting GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann to libertarianism.
A Minnesota delegation visited China and isn't hopeful that the Asian country will allow pork imports in. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is mentioned.
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar takes exception with a story saying the federal government is wasting money on general aviation.
Former White House adviser Karl Rove will speak at several higher education institutions in Minnesota this week.
More Pawlenty for Prez Watch
The Washington Post says federal PACs (like the one Pawlenty will set up soon) have become slush funds.
Posted at 12:00 PM on September 29, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Several unions, including the SEIU, the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council and the AFL-CIO announced this week that they're backing DFL state Sen. Tarryl Clark's bid for Congress. AFSCME Council 5, the Carpenter's Union and the Teamsters announced in the past that they're also backing Clark. Clark is seeking the DFL endorsement against Dr. Maureen Reed in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District.
Whoever wins the DFL nomination will square off against GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann. Bachmann just sent out a fundraising e-mail to supporters saying Democrats are targeting her seat:
I must show a solid bank account to keep the Democrats from pouring millions into my opponents' campaigns. They've spent millions here before, and right now they're gearing up to do it again!
In fact, the Democrats have me on their list of TOP 8 GOP TARGETS TO DEFEAT!
You have been my rock, and I am so grateful for that. You give me the strength to fight for freedom and prosperity. It is your message of liberty that I speak every day as a Member of Congress.
Stu Rothenberg ranks the 6th and the 3rd as "Republican favored."
Posted at 11:57 AM on September 29, 2009
by Tim Pugmire
Gov. Tim Pawlenty is downplaying a new poll that shows his approval rating remains steady.
A new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll found Pawlenty's job approval is 49 percent, which is similar to results in April. But a year ago the Republican governor's approval was 54 percent. And it was 59 percent two years ago. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. Pawlenty says the number is still better than many governors.
"Almost every governor in the country has experienced dramatic drops in approval ratings since the economy collapsed, Pawlenty said. "Mine actually has held up better than most."
Pawlenty declined to respond to the poll results related to his possible White House aspirations. The poll found 55 percent of respondents don't want him to run for president in 2012. Pawlenty referred those questions to his political spokesman, Alex Conant.
Conant said it's premature to be thinking about the 2012 election.
"Governor Pawlenty is focused on finishing his term strong and electing conservatives in 2010, Conant said. "Nevertheless, the fact that half of voters would consider supporting him is a testament to his leadership."
Posted at 12:41 PM on September 29, 2009
by Tim Pugmire
Child safety advocate and two-time congressional candidate Patty Wetterling has endorsed the gubernatorial campaign of Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner.
Wetterling was an unsuccessful DFL 6th district candidate in 2004 and 2006. But she was a very successful fundraiser and is well known statewide.
Gaertner's campaign today released a letter from Wetterling:
Like many of you, I have refrained from making an early decision about who to support in the race for governor of Minnesota. With so many DFL candidates in the field, it has been no small challenge to determine which candidate I believe will be the best choice to lead our state through this difficult time.
Yet after sifting through information on the values, views, and priorities of all the candidates, one stands out from the rest. The person I am supporting has the executive leadership ability of a manager of a large public office, the community commitment of a local elected official, and the moral integrity of a prosecutor who does what is right rather than what is popular. With strong Democratic values and a pragmatic approach, this candidate will bring together progressives, moderates, and independents in a coalition that can win next November. This candidate is Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, and I am proud to support her campaign for governor of Minnesota in 2010.
Throughout her career, Susan has demonstrated a passionate commitment to the families and communities of her jurisdiction. In addition to successfully prosecuting many dangerous offenders, she has led innovative projects that have made significant long-term impacts on the youth and families of Ramsey County.
With the Truancy Intervention Program, Susan has substantially increased school attendance and increased graduation rates in St. Paul and in the suburbs. She has dramatically improved coordination across jurisdictions for the prosecution of domestic violence cases through the Joint Domestic Abuse Prosecution Unit. She is also the only county attorney in Minnesota fully in charge of the county's child support collection program; Ramsey County now brings in more than $62 million in child support annually, ensuring food, clothing, and health care for thousands of children in need.
For these reasons and more, I wholeheartedly support Susan's candidacy. I am proud to get to share some of Susan's accomplishments with you, and I am very hopeful that Susan will have the opportunity to extend her commitment to Ramsey County families to families across Minnesota, as our next governor.
We need Susan Gaertner's principled and compassionate leadership to help give our state a fresh start. I hope you will join me by making a contribution or signing up to volunteer with her campaign today.
Wetterling made another endorsement today, this time for state Sen. Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, who's running for Congress in the 6th District. Here's the endorsement/fundraising letter released by Clark's campaign:
Over the years, we've worked together for many important causes. Today, I'm asking you to join me again in an important cause for our community: new, sensible leadership for Minnesota's 6th Congressional District.
I'm proud to support my friend Tarryl Clark in her campaign for Congress.
Tarryl and I have worked together as advocates, as mothers, and as leaders to make real change on behalf of Minnesotans. Tarryl speaks passionately about the needs of our children and families. But what makes Tarryl effective is her willingness to roll up her sleeves to deliver on the issues that matter. Time and again, when her constituents or her neighbors have needed her, she gets the job done.
That's the kind of common-sense leadership we need in Washington.
I am proud to support Tarryl's campaign for Congress, and I hope you will join me today by making a contribution of $250, $100, $50, or whatever you can afford to Tarryl's campaign for Congress.
Tarryl and I have traveled the 6th District together, going door-to-door, person-to-person, because both of us believe in the power of affecting change by working from the grassroots up. We believe that, by stretching across the community and reaching the real people in the 6th district, we can make a real difference.
And that's precisely the leadership that has been missing with Michele Bachmann in Congress. Bachmann has spent more of her time on the talk shows than making a difference for Minnesota -- but those talk shows have fueled a national following that are ready to fund her campaign.
That's why I'm asking you to support Tarryl's campaign today. Let's make sure Tarryl has the resources she needs to run a winning campaign and return sensible leadership to Congress.
I'm proud to support Tarryl, and I hope you will join me.
Posted at 2:10 PM on September 29, 2009
by Tom Scheck
DFL state Rep. Jeremy Kalin of North Branch announced that the White House has selected him to lead a White House working group of state legislators around the country on energy and climate change. In a news release, Kalin says he'll be "leading the working group over the next several months, working with White House senior staff, members of the Cabinet and other state legislators to infom the debate surrounding the American Clean Energy and Security Act (HR 2454)."